‘Bwana’ Is For Old People

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It’s nothing. It’s everything you ever wanted. It’s ups and downs. It is not black and white as people tend to think. Sometimes you have lucid dreams – seeking answers to ‘what ifs’. Not like he cares – not for the past three decades. If he does care then you haven’t sighted it, let alone feel it. You can’t help it, it’s beyond you. He is gone, has been gone; just upped and left. Maybe your imminent arrival repelled him – pushed him away, had him back off or rather had him back the f***k off; those two are different the first one implies there’s room for arguing before it flares, the second is final, with a signature cadence. Maybe it is one of those ‘it’s not you it’s me’ analogies that don’t make a tinge of sense, it’s always been you. It hurts, sometimes. Afterall, you’re just another colleen nurtured without a father. You hear tales of fathers that just went MIA, some went under the guise of work and vanished off the face of the earth, some figured they’d be better off with new families – start a new life somewhere, some perceived at 50, it wasn’t too late to chase their dreams; which is true but at what cost, some used others as pawn then fizzled out when the baby bump grew too big, figured they’re not ready for that level of commitment and that’s where he comes in. He left because he couldn’t provide, your mom stepped up, he felt effeminated, his machismo had been stripped off. Before he was your father he was a man, with an ego – that made him run away from himself.

The only memento is a flower printed tie of his, it smelt old – like old books, a poignant reminder of his absence. One time you tried burning it and the damn thing just charred a little. Kids hugged their patriarchs after long days of school (coloring and sleeping), you watched in awe wondering if it felt any different from other embraces; was the grip firm, snug and stuff? He turned you turned into a sleuth – seeked to put a face and a personality to a rather faceless man, an elusive face. He didn’t like photos that much, the only one that existed had his face out of focus it was as clear as greased glass. Your mom is no help either, doesn’t give a hoot about the man that caused so much agony in her life. The fact that he initiated adversity for her at a puny age of 23 means that even his name ‘Steve’ is taboo in the house, or any other Steve for that matter, lest it evokes bile. You pondered and began to fill a profile jig saw puzzle of Steve’s identity. Piece by piece; his friends said you have his smile and eyes – okay that piece goes there, he was tall with skin color close to tar – this piece goes here, had an egg head that wore a baldpate capped off with a goatee. Technically looked like a character from a Mexican cartel movie – okay that piece goes there. You pictured If like most of his peers he wore Reebok sneakers with a suit. If he tucked his shirt into his shorts. What shoe size he wore. If he regretted his decision. If he ever loved you even if just a morsel of affection. What sports team did he support – was he a football, basketball or rugby guy. If like you he added salt to his food prior to tasting it. Whether he used ‘bwana’ amidst sentences because ‘bana’ is for youngbloods.

After rabbit holes and futile leads you tracked him down after 20 years of looking for him and now you’re not so sure anymore, a cloud of apprehensiveness hang over like a halo. You are standing on his stoop, children are squealing inside. Should you knock? What if he denounces you? What if he has a shitty memory by now? What do you tell him, ‘Oh remember me? Your estranged daughter from thirty years ago to whom you decided to play ghost on.’ You don’t knock, drive back home because somethings are better left unearthed – let the sleeping dog lie, right. At the Rubicon, you decide not be that girl; who breaks down from lingering thoughts of him and say it’s nothing, yet, it’s everything.

3 thoughts on “‘Bwana’ Is For Old People

  1. buana(sounds more dramatic than bwana actually😂) or bwa(really annoys my friends☹😂) do it for me😂😂your intense endings are everything💥💥🙌🏽Its like watching a movie and holding your breath as you await the killer to strike

    Liked by 1 person

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